Use these tips to get rid if Rusty's acne, dandruff and tummy problems!

Use these tips to get rid if Rusty's acne, dandruff and tummy problems!

As adorable and energetic as Reagan is, recently she seemed to have a ton of health problems. While some we accounted to Reagan growing out of her puppy stage, others we knew we needed to address.

For one … dandruff. Yes, it may seem like a vanity thing (and maybe it is). But who wants a dog with dandruff?

Use these tips to get rid if Rusty's acne, dandruff and tummy problems!

Then comes the acne. Alright it’s another vanity thing. But dogs with acne? I had never heard of such a thing before we got Reagan. The photo below is from one one of our most popular posts about a DIY toy storage solution. Can you see that acne on her face?

Use these tips to get rid if Rusty's acne, dandruff and tummy problems!

Oh and then there’s the diarrhea like poop and farting. Lots of farting. No pictures necessary.

All of this was going on for months. And it was driving us crazy. We weren’t sure to what extent all of this was just what happens with dogs and what was serious. But we knew Reagan didn’t seem too happy and we wanted her to look AND feel healthier!  Her energy and playfulness are some of our favorite qualities and we wanted to make sure she was able to enjoy the summer playing outside.

So we decided to take the IAMS™ Challenge. IAMS™ is so confident that you’ll see a Visible Difference in your dog that they’re offering a money back guarantee. Our vet had also recommended transitioning Reagan’s dog food, so it was a no brainer!

Here’s what we did during our IAMS™ Challenge

1 Keep Hydrated

Does this sound familar? Ironically it’s a common beauty tip for humas as well. Well Reagan (just like me) doesn’t always love to drink a lot of water. We were constantly worried that she was dehydrated. Ugh. So we tried to make drinking water as fun as we could. I freezed a couple pieces of dog food in each ice cube tray mold. Once frozen, Reagan couldn’t get enough of them. To my surprise she seemed to think it was the greatest treat EVER. We would give her a couple of these at a time, typically several times a day.

Use these tips to get rid if Rusty's acne, dandruff and tummy problems!

The ONLY problem we ran in to is that every time I opened the freezer, she assumed we were getting her treat 🙂 .

Use these tips to get rid if Rusty's acne, dandruff and tummy problems!

2 Change The Food

For the IAMS™ Challenge, we opted for IAMS™ Grain Free Naturals Dry Food with Salmon & Red Lentils. Joe laughed stating that Reagan is probably having better meals than we are. Embarrassing I admitted he was right (#awfulcook).

It was the perfect choice for Reagan. Their dog food includes Omega 6 & 3 fatty acids that keeps Reagan’s skin & coat look healthy (goodbye acne and dandruff). In addition IAMS™ includes a fiber blend in their dog food. Just like humans need fiber, this helped Reagan with all her digestive & tummy problems.

Remember IAMS™ is so confident that you’ll see a Visible Difference in your dog that they’re offering a money back guarantee. For more info on all the IAMS™ products and to get the full scoop on their Visible Difference Guarantee, visit iams.com/visabledifference.

We took 7 days to transition Reagan to her new food. Any quicker might have caused MORE tummy problems, which is the last thing we wanted. We started by mixing 75% of the old food with 25% of the new IAMS™ diet. Then on days 3 & 4, we mixed 50/50 of old diet and new. By day 5 & 6, the mix was 75% of the new IAMS™ with 25% of the old diet. On day 7, Reagan was ready to eat the new IAMS™ diet exclusively.

The smartest tips to get rid of puppy acne, dandruff and tummy problems!

Note that we monitored Reagan pretty closely. You’ll want to do the same with your dog and adjust the transition timing as needed.

The smartest tips to get rid of puppy acne, dandruff and tummy problems!

3 Slow Down Eating

Apparently like mother like daughter. Reagan eats her food just as quickly as I do. I’m truly hoping I’m a little neater of an eater than her although Joe often disagrees 🙁 . While there’s tons of doggy gadgets to encourage your dog to eat at a slower pace, you’ve likely got the solution right at home already. Simple put a tennis ball in the middle of dish filled with food. This will force your dog to slow down as they eat AROUND the ball. It even makes meal time more mentally stimulating as they have to move the ball around the dish to get at the food.

The smartest tips to get rid of puppy acne, dandruff and tummy problems!

The Results of the IAMS™ Challenge

At the end of the IAMS™ Challenge we saw a huge difference!  The dandruff was GONE and her coat was super shiny. The acne had literally disappeared. Her tummy seemed to be doing better as she had tons of energy! Scroll down look at some of our adventures with Reagan below. She had a lot more energy and was running around like crazy! Just like we knew she would.

Not only did it make Reagan feel better, but it was great for Joe & I as well. We could finally stop worrying about how Reagan was feeling! She was enjoying the summer and the outdoors iwth one of her favorite activities …. playing frisbee. AND she’s finally able to CATCH the frisbee!

The smartest tips to get rid of puppy acne, dandruff and tummy problems!

The smartest tips to get rid of puppy acne, dandruff and tummy problems!

Take a look at these videos … Reagan is back to her ‘normal’ crazy self. We think she definitely succeeded in the IAMS™ Challenge!  Yet, apparently one thing she didn’t obtain is a sense of coordination. We’re still working on that 🙂 .

And then there’s Regan’s FAVORITE way to exercise outdoors ….

Come join the IAMS™ Challenge to get your dogs outside enjoying the summer!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

 

 

 

 

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As prepared as we were for Reagan, our doberman puppy, there were MANY things we learned along the way. Some things we’re laughing about now and for others the wound is too fresh. Ugh. Yes, we had our to-do lists prepared and purchased all the essentials, but we still learned quite a few lessons along the way. It took a little trial and error, lots of caffeine and quite a bit of humor, but we got through the first month with Reagan and are still alive to tell about it!

Oh how could this cute little face get in to any mischief ???

Need to read later, first 30 days new puppy checklist. Read through.

What we wish we would have known: New Puppy Checklist

Although Apple Spray, that spray that will prevent puppies from chewing on whatever your spray it on, should have been a blessing it was one of Reagan’s favorite treats! She would literally lick it off our furniture (and THEN chew the furniture). FAIL.

There’s SO many puppy products on the market nowadays. Some of them seem just down right silly. I tried the less is more approach at the beginning, but wish I would have bought a couple key items right away. One of those was a dog dish tray to prevent water from spilling all over. Our wood floors started to warp because Reagan thought the water bowl was for playing not drinking 🙂 .

Make sure everyone in your house is consistent with rules and puppy commands. I started going rouge and using the same commands/hand signals that I used with my childhood puppy without confirming with Joe. Sure enough he was using different hand signals.

Reagan wasn’t a fan of getting brushed, although she REALLY needed it! Anytime she saw the brush coming, she would jump up and start trying to play with it. I wish we would have started grooming her when she was sleeping instead of wide awake to get her used to it.

Need to read later, first 30 days new puppy checklist. Read through.

We never really did the math of how much dog food we would go through daily. It seemed like almost every week we would come close to running out of food before buying more! I highly recommend buying several bags of puppy food at a time!

I had NO idea how much energy playing at the dog park would burn! Once Reagan got all her shots (about 3 months), we started taking her to the dog park almost daily and she became a different dog! Running around at a dog park for an hour burned WAY more energy than taking her on 3 or 4 long walks.

Say goodbye to full night sleeps for the first month! If you’re sharing puppy responsibilities with someone else, make sure you come up with a plan of WHO is going to be on nighttime duty each night. It took Joe & I a week or so to get in to the groove of this. Before that we would BOTH wake up in the middle of the night to take Reagan out to go to the bathroom. What were we thinking?

We bought doggy carpet cleaner that also eliminates the scent to prevent dogs from coming back to that same spot. Well, it neither prevented Reagan from peeing in the same spot and or got rid of the stain. We ended up switching back to regular carpet cleaner.

Skip the nice bed and opt for old towels. It may not be as luxurious or comfy as a puppy bed, but you also won’t be wasting money on something that your dog may use as an expensive chew toy! Admittedly Reagan chewed up TWO beds before we switched to the towels.

Need to read later, first 30 days new puppy checklist. Read through.

Research what the diameter of your puppies neck should be BEFORE buying a collar. I just bought a medium size collar for Reagan, but when we first got her it was WAY too big. That meant we had NO collar for her and had to run to the store within the first hour after bringing her home.

We put off brushing Reagan’s teeth because …. well it seemed like a miserable process. I wish we would have started the very first week we brought her home so that she was used to it. Now every time we brush her teeth its a huge production because she has no idea what’s going on!

After weeks of sleepless nights for both Reagan, Joe & I, we got a great tips from my sister. Fill plastic water bottles with hot water and cover with socks. Then place these in her crate next to her when going to bed. It supposedly mimics the feeling of sleeping next to her brothers and sisters. This was LIFE CHANGING for us. Hello sleeping through the night!

Good luck with your new puppy! Any tips you learned along the way?

 

 

 

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Keep all your family's medical bills organized with this easy to make portable medical binder. Even fits in your purse to take with to doctors appointments!

One of the most important paperwork in your home is medical paperwork. And it’s likely the most confusing, right? While I can’t claim to decode medical terminology and insurance billing, I can help get these very important pieces of paper organized so that they’re easily accessible when you need them! A medical binder is essential for each member of your family and so easy to put together.

Keep all your family's medical bills organized with this easy to make portable medical binder. Even fits in your purse to take with to doctors appointments!

As many of you know, Joe & I got a new member of our family last winter: a very energetic doberman puppy! Reagan had an overwhelming amount of vet appointments in her first couple months of coming home to us. Being totally new to doggy illnesses & lingo, I was constantly confused and definitely wasn’t getting the most out of our vet appointments. Adding to my confusion, we changed vets after a couple months and my new vet had lots of questions that I couldn’t remember the answer to. After months of feeling like an awful puppy mom, I needed a solution.

Not only is a medical binder great for each PERSON of your family, it can easily be adapted for the animals in your family! In it, you’ll find:

  • all medical bills & paperwork
  • an overview of each doctor (vet) appointment
  • important contact information and insurance numbers

I take Reagan’s with her to all her vet appointments.

Keep all your family's medical bills organized with this easy to make portable medical binder. Even fits in your purse to take with to doctors appointments!Supplies:

The first step is to decide HOW you want to label the folder tabs that will hold medical bills, notes and paperwork for each appointment. A couple options:

By Date: For Reagan, I opted to have one tab for each month. This may be a little overkill for many of you. Reagan was going to the vet almost every two weeks, so having all her records sorted by month was really helpful. As she gets older and has less appointments, I’ll plan adjust the tabs to quarterly. Within each month’s tab, I put ALL vet bills and any paperwork I receive from the vet, and medicine instructions.

By Type: In addition to having your paperwork sorted based on WHEN the appointments happened, it may be helpful to sort some of the paperwork based on a particular situation. For example, all Reagan’s paperwork (vet bills and all documents) for her spaying go in it’s own tab regardless of which month the appointments took place. This could be a good way to also organize medical information for people surgeries 🙂 !

By Insurance: If you’ve transitioned insurance companies recently, you may want to keep your information stored based on which insurance provider was covering the medical expenses.

Keep all your family's medical bills organized with this easy to make portable medical binder. Even fits in your purse to take with to doctors appointments!

I used a combination of these folder tab options when creating Reagan’s binder. Here’s how I created her folder tabs:

Months: As I mentioned above, I’m starting out sorting Reagan’s paperwork based on month since she’s had a lot of vet appointments lately. As she gets older (and hopefully less prone to finding herself at the vet), I’ll likely switch these to quarterly or even yearly for the older paperwork.

Spaying: We’re getting ready to spay Reagan and our vet supplied us with LOTS of informational pamphlets. Since this is a big surgery, I like keeping all this information (plus corresponding vet bills) in its own tab. All the paperwork will be sorted based on date within the ‘spaying’ tab for easy access.

Notes: From time to time our vet supplies us with handouts on good-to-know puppy information. Instead of pitching it and promising myself I’ll remember it, I store it in the ‘notes’ tab.

Breeder: Our breeder gave us a packet of information when we picked up Reagan (AKC registration, lineage info, etc).

Instructions

Making Folder Tabs: Using my decorative label dicut punch, I punched out enough dicuts for the number of tabs that I want in a variety of colors.

Keep all your family's medical bills organized with this easy to make portable medical binder. Even fits in your purse to take with to doctors appointments!

My absolute FAVORITE organizing supply is my Epson portable label maker. There’s even an app so I can literally label on the go 🙂 . Life. Complete. I printed out a label for each of the tabs using their clear label tape on black ink.

Keep all your family's medical bills organized with this easy to make portable medical binder. Even fits in your purse to take with to doctors appointments!

I adhered each label to the top half of the dicut. Next, using scrapbooking tape (regular scotch tape would likely work fine), I placed two pieces of tape on the bottom quadrants of the dicut.

Using a full size (8 1/2 by 11) card stock paper, I turned the paper sideways (landscape) and taped the dicut in the middle. In effort to make it even, I chose not to eyeball ‘the middle’. Instead I measured out the half the width (which is 5 1/2 inches) and made a small mark. Don’t worry the mark won’t be visible as you’re putting your label right over it!

Keep all your family's medical bills organized with this easy to make portable medical binder. Even fits in your purse to take with to doctors appointments!

I really LOVE using these clear reusable envelopes, as they’re easy to grab and throw in my bag without taking up a lot of space. Realistically I knew I wouldn’t carry around a 3 ring binder in my bag. Using these clear thinner envelopes really makes these medical binders PORTABLE! (which was the goal!)

Keep all your family's medical bills organized with this easy to make portable medical binder. Even fits in your purse to take with to doctors appointments!

After putting all the folder tabs in the envelope, I went through the huge stack of Reagan’s medical paperwork. I placed each document in the appropriate section.

As I sorted through all the paperwork, I filled out this Doctor Visit Tracker. The goal was to be up to date documenting all Reagan’s appointments. I found that having one sheet listing all her appointments (and some basic details) was incredibly helpful. This sheet goes right in front of the folder tabs for easy reference.

Keep all your family's medical bills organized with this easy to make portable medical binder. Even fits in your purse to take with to doctors appointments!

The final item added to Reagan’s medical binder was the Important Information Card. As you probably guessed, this card lists important information that I may need when making appointments and talking with the vet. It includes Reagan’s birth date, Breeder information & contact information for our vet.

Keep all your family's medical bills organized with this easy to make portable medical binder. Even fits in your purse to take with to doctors appointments!

Any time we’re off to the vet, this binder comes with us!

Now if someone could just teach us how to read those insurance bills 🙂

Keep all your family's medical bills organized with this easy to make portable medical binder. Even fits in your purse to take with to doctors appointments!

Some of the links in this list are affiliate links. It doesn’t cost you any extra, but I earn a little commission if you decide to purchase. Regardless of whether or not I receive a commission, I only recommend products that I personally use and genuinely recommend! Thanks for helping support this site!

 

 

Keep all your family's medical bills organized with this easy to make portable medical binder. Even fits in your purse to take with to doctors appointments!

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In December Joe & I picked up our 7 week old little doberman girl, Reagan, a couple weeks earlier than originally planned. Fortunately we had done a lot of preparation so we were ready for our adorable (and WILD!) bundle of joy! Here’s our top 10 things that we did to prepare for a new puppy!

Before bringing home your new pup, take a look at our list of the top 10 steps to prepare for a new puppy to be as prepared as you can be!Here’s our top 10 tips to prepare for a new puppy! 

1 Location location location | Decide where all the puppy stuff is going to go. For example, where will your puppy sleep? Where will you bath her? Where will you store all the supplies? Where will her food bowls go? We actually tested out a couple of locations for the food bowls to find a spot that would work!

2 Dog sitter | We took a look at our vacation schedule to decide if there were any trips that we could bring Reagan with us as opposed to others where we would need to get a puppy sitter. We found some great folks to watch Reagan on Rover.com.

3 Puppy classes | My dog training classes have young puppy classes as early as 8 weeks. We found that it was well worth the money to get her in to a puppy class right away as opposed to waiting a couple months. This way we’re encouraging the right behaviors from the beginning. I also had NO idea how to train a dog.

Before bringing home your new pup, take a look at our list of the top 10 steps to prepare for a new puppy to be as prepared as you can be!

4 Off limits rooms | You’ll want to decide what rooms, if any, are off limits. We opted to make the bedrooms off limits or now, possibly allowing at a later time. For us it was easier to only give Reagan partial access to the house. We had to get disciplined with keeping the bedroom doors shut at all times as Reagan has a nack for getting in to things that she shouldn’t!

5 Off limits furniture | On a similar note, will any furniture be off limits? We decided that beds were absolutely off limits, but our family room couch was OK. In fact the family couch is the only ON limits piece of furniture that Reagan is allowed on. Admittedly we initially we against letter her up on the couch, but changed our mind a month in 🙂 .

6 Find a vet | We spent some time researching vets near by to find the best option for us. We not only found a vet but also a dog emergency room that was close by our home. Make sure to call your chosen vet is accepting new patients!

Before bringing home your new pup, take a look at our list of the top 10 steps to prepare for a new puppy to be as prepared as you can be!

7 Schedule | Joe & I sat down to create a daily schedule of puppy duty. Remember that your new puppy is going to need pretty much constant attention. We alternated evenings & mornings AND overnight duty. For the first month or so Reagan needed to be taken outside in the middle of the night so one of us would set an alarm to get up.

8 Puppy food | We reached out to our breeder ahead of time to find out what type of puppy food she will be eating when we pick her up. Even if you want to switch food, you’ll need to have some of their current stuff on hand so that you can make that transition smooth and over the course of at least a week or two.

9 Make a list and check it twice | Before we bought ANYTHING, we compiled a list of everything that we thought we needed. Then we showed a couple of our dog owning friends. Sure enough these friends had some great suggestions to both add to and take off our list.  I made my own list of rather surprising puppy supplies that I would have never thought we needed!

10 Shopping | A couple weeks before we brought home Reagan, we did all the shopping at once. This was more efficient, but also helped us not go crazy buying unnecessary puppy items.

Before bringing home your new pup, take a look at our list of the top 10 steps to prepare for a new puppy to be as prepared as you can be!
Before bringing home your new pup, take a look at our list of the top 10 steps to prepare for a new puppy to be as prepared as you can be!

Some of the links in this list are affiliate links. It doesn’t cost you any extra, but I earn a little commission if you decide to purchase. Regardless of whether or not I receive a commission, I only recommend products that I personally use and genuinely recommend! Thanks for helping support this site!

 

Before bringing home your new pup, take a look at our list of the top 10 steps to prepare for a new puppy to be as prepared as you can be!
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Make sure to check out this list of surprising puppy supplies before your new puppy comes home! Make sure to check out #5!

If you walk in to any pet store, you’ll immediately spot out the basics – cage, food, leash, toys, etc. The stores are filled with everything you could possibly need for your new puppy! And a lot of things you could probably live without 🙂 . Prior to bringing home our little doberman girl, Reagan, I scouerd the isles off all the local pet stores trying to decide amongst the zillions of products that all seemed necessary to a new puppy mom! Fast forward 2 months I realized that there were a several surprising puppy supplies I wish I would have had prior to bringing her home.

The essential list of puppy supplies

Click on any of the images below for details on the product.

Now here’s why I chose each of these …

1 Old towels for bedding | We initially purchased a comfy bed for Reagan, which she promptly chewed right through! Embarrassingly, the switch to towels didn’t occur until she had destroyed TWO beds. Once she gets a little older, and a lot less destructive, we’ll move back to giving her a real bed. For now, the towels are working pretty well.

Make sure to check out this list of surprising puppy supplies before your new puppy comes home! Make sure to check out #5!

2 House training door bell | Our dog sitter recommended this after babysitting Reagan shortly after we got her. The concept is that your puppy will literally ‘ring the bell’ when she has to use the bathroom. Surprisingly Reagan caught on to this so quickly. The consolation was that the bell rings so often that I think I hear it in my sleep! I chose to get the white one to blend in to our door so it wasn’t SO noticeable.

Training Clicker | Per the recommendation of our puppy training class we purchased a couple training clickers and kept them by our sides at all times. It was a lot of work at the beginning, but repeatedly ‘clicking’ for good behavior expedited her training. Similar to the doggy door bells, I can also hear ‘clicks’ in my sleep!

4 Harness | Reagan was a stubborn little puppy right from the beginning so her collar just wasn’t enough. The harness was SOOO incredibly helpful in training her to go on walks.

Make sure to check out this list of surprising puppy supplies before your new puppy comes home! Make sure to check out #5!

5 Water gun | I think Joe & I had a little too much fun with this one! We used the water gun to help train Reagan. She’d get a squirt every time she jumped up on the counters & beds. She got so much water that it almost counted as a bath!

6 Lots and LOTS of poop bags | Although I don’t know how many diapers a newborn baby goes through daily, I’m convinced that Reagan could rival any baby with her poop bags. I was pleasantly surprised that this one also came with a dispenser to put on her leash for easy use.

7 Baby gate | Probably Reagan’s least favorite item on this list, but it was a life saver. We opted for both a dog pen (below) and a simple baby gate for our stairs. Reagan did chew the wood baby gate a little, so a metal one might have been better. Yet for the cheap price, I’m still glad I got the wooden one.

Make sure to check out this list of surprising puppy supplies before your new puppy comes home! Make sure to check out #5!

8 Basket for toys | Puppy toys are now consuming our entire family room! We tried to store these in a nice cotton basket, but Reagan assumed the basket WAS the toy and chewed completely through it. I then opted for an old popcorn tin that I transformed into this fun DIY project.

Long leash | I really appreciated that we purchased this long leash early on before Reagan was old enough to go to a dog park. We would take her to open field areas and let her run around, letting out some of that puppy energy. I know that a lot of people take their puppies off leash, but I just get too nervous that Reagan will run. Everything and anything catches her eye and distracts her. (last week she went CRAZY barking at a plastic bag blowing in the air 🙂 ).

Make sure to check out this list of surprising puppy supplies before your new puppy comes home! Make sure to check out #5!

10 ‘Smart’ toys | When I first got Reagan I had NO idea what a smart toy was. I mean I’m not planning on sending Reagan to Harvard or anything. But apparently a smart toy is one that will keep her entertained and stimulated for a while. Regardless if she gets any smarter, I’m down with that!

11 Puppy Coat | In Seattle not only is a winter coat essential, so is a rain jacket 🙂 . Joking aside, dobermans are somewhat sensitive to cold weather and Reagan would shiver when outside at night so a puppy coat was worth it. I got a bigger size for her as she’s growing like crazy and I new she would grow in to it before the season was over (she also actually grew OUT it during that season too!).

Make sure to check out this list of surprising puppy supplies before your new puppy comes home! Make sure to check out #5!

12 Rope toys | We held off on giving Reagan bones while she was a puppy as she had a lot of tummy problems at the beginning. I had no idea the hour and HOURS of tug of war I was in for with these toys though!

13 Food storage container | Although not absolutely essential, I liked putting her food into a clear storage container as opposed to having the bags and bags of dog food sitting around. Whether storing the food in the kitchen or in a closet, it just looks better in a plastic container. This one also came with a food scooper too.

14 Food bowl tray | After using a cheap flimsy mat to put Reagan’s food on, I ended up purchasing this tray. It was much more sturdy and had higher sides to prevent all the water spills that Reagan makes! Once I noticed our wood floor starting to warp from Reagan’s play time (aka – eating time), I knew we needed to switch to something more durable.

Make sure to check out this list of surprising puppy supplies before your new puppy comes home! Make sure to check out #5!

Now for a RARE glimpse at Reagan quietly napping 🙂 .

Make sure to check out this list of surprising puppy supplies before your new puppy comes home! Make sure to check out #5!

Any other surprising puppy essentials that I missed?
Make sure to check out this list of surprising puppy supplies before your new puppy comes home! Make sure to check out #5!

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. It doesn’t cost you any extra, but I earn a little commission if you decide to purchase. Regardless of whether or not I receive a commission, I only recommend products that I personally use and genuinely recommend! Thanks for helping support this site!

 

 

Make sure to check out this list of surprising puppy supplies before your new puppy comes home! Make sure to check out #5!

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